Viridorari is an environmentally focused blog. The mission of Viridorari is to help you incorporate healthier, "greener" habits into your life, to benefit you, the people around you, and the environment.

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Notice: Powershift 2013

Hey everyone! I wanted to let you know that I have arrived with fellow students from my college at Pittsburgh, PA for Powershift 2013.

For those of you who don't know, Powershift is an event that happens every other year, and it gathers students and young people from around the country and the world to learn about different environmental topics and develop resistance and leadership skills to progress the environmental movement. There are many inspirational speakers here, many of them figureheads of the movement, like Bill McKibben and Josh Fox. This weekend will be full of education, motivation, networking, and mobilization.

I will be tweeting and retweeting about Powershift throughout the weekend, so be sure to follow me: @Viridorari, and check out the topic #Powershift. To see pictures from the Powershift event, go here. If you want to learn more about the event, check out the website

Expect a more comprehensive post about the event and my experiences, along with pictures, after I return to my college on Sunday.

So, wish me luck, and remember, if we all work together, we can shift the power from nonrenewable to renewable and from corporate to citizen to make a better tomorrow for us and for future generations.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Freewrite: Leave No Trace Backpacking

The honors program at my school offered a weekend-long backpacking trip in which we could learn the principles of Leave No Trace camping and become certified LNT trainers.
            I showed up an hour and a half early to buy tickets because I wanted to be certain I would get a spot. I was ready for an opportunity to get back to nature and become acquainted with my new local environment. Also, I had never been on a backpacking trip or legitimate camping trip— all of the camping I have ever done was in campers, and the only times I’ve slept in a tent were at sleepovers and festivals.
            So, this past weekend, with eight other honors students, three student trainers, and two adult supervisors, we left all technology behind except cameras and plunged into the beautiful natural world of New York (yes, for those of you who don’t know, there is more to New York State than New York City).
            The college loaned us tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and a backpack. My eyes popped when I saw how big the backpack was. It was larger than my upper body, and as I was packing it I became concerned about how heavy it was. But, once I put it on and fastened all the proper straps, I was impressed with how manageable the weight was, but I still knew that the trip would be no walk in the park.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Suggested Reading: Pipeline Failures

I’m running short on time today— I’m leaving in a couple hours for a camping trip and will be away for the entire weekend with NO TECHNOLOGY (besides a camera, woo!). Honestly, I’m looking forward to it; expect a special post about my experience when I get back.
            So, I will keep this post brief, and I will have to skip out on manatees for today. Please check out past posts about endangered animals and feel free to do your own research! If there’s an endangered animal you want to see on Viridorari, be sure to email me at or tweet at me (@viridorari) and let me know!
            For today’s Suggested Reading, I want to call attention to two recent events regarding pipeline failures; while both had minimal impacts (according to media), they serve as important warnings about pipeline dangers. Both of these incidents could have had a much greater effect on the environment and local communities.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Recycling Projects: Pen & Pencil Organizer

The school season is in full swing now, and I know when I was in school I was constantly loosing my pens and pencils. This organizer can help your child keep all their utensils in one place, and they’ll have fun making it! This project comes from the blog Random Thoughts of a Super Mom.  
Picture courtesy of: Random Thoughts of a Super Mom
         Supplies Needed:

         -Cereal box, pancake mix box, snack box, etc.
         -Toilet paper rolls
         -Scrap paper/decorative paper/wrapping paper
         -Glue and tape
         -Markers/paint/paintbrush (optional)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Ecofriendly Economics, Reavealing October's Animal of the Month!

What material can be used to make over 25,000 products, including clothing, cordage, fuel, plastic, jewelry, paper, building material, food, cosmetic products, and weed deterrent?
            I’ll give you a hint; it’s a plant. It can be grown in many climates, requires little to no pesticides, has a short growing season and a fast turnout, is drought resistant, is resistant to UV rays, and has minimal impact on the soil.
            Sounds too good to be true, right?  
            Well, it's real. The plant is called hemp, and despite its many uses and soft impact on the environment, it has a bad reputation because of its close relation to marijuana. Hemp does have THC (the chemical that causes the high) in it, but at significantly smaller levels compared to marijuana. It is cultivated to have very low THC levels; to receive a high, a person would have to smoke ten to twelve hemp cigarettes in an extremely small amount of time, which would be very difficult to withstand. Despite this, it is still illegal to grow it in the United States, and therefore hemp must be imported, which is unfortunate because this increases the cost of hemp and the environmental impact from transporting it. Notably, hemp has the ability to replace many current industries, such as cotton, fossil fuels, and tree fibers, which is important to keep in mind when asking “why isn’t hemp more popular?”

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Recycling Projects: Plastic Bottle Butterflies

Plastic Bottle Butterflies
         Parental supervision may be needed for this project as it requires the use of sandpaper, sharp tacks, and cutting plastic with scissors, which can be difficult.
         Supplies needed:
         Empty 2-liter plastic bottle
         180-grit sandpaper
         Paints, paintbrushes
         Pins or tacks, a surface to pin on